Athletes and coaches rejoice amidst return of winter sports

The boys basketball team defeated Louisa High School 64-36 on Dec. 7.

The boys basketball team defeated Louisa High School 64-36 on Dec. 7.

Josh Epstein, Lead Sports Editor

Last year, many students missed out on the opportunity to compete during their sports season in heartbreaking fashion. The winter sports season during the 2020-21 school year was cancelled in a difficult decision made by the Virginia High School League (VHSL). As a result, many athletes were unable to compete in their sport. Fortunately, the winter sports season has made its return after the year-long hiatus. The sports returning include boys and girls basketball, indoor track, wrestling, and swimming. Students and coaches across the school have shown their excitement for the return of their individual sport. 

   Boys basketball Head Coach Justin Hayes said that he is most looking forward to the beloved atmosphere that comes with the winter sports games. 

   “[I am most looking forward to] just having the students, parents, friends and fans to be able to congregate again, indoors, and to be able to watch a live sporting event,” Hayes said.

   With the excitement, there are also many questions that come with the return of winter sports. Hayes said that the most interesting aspect of the upcoming winter sports season is how Covid-19 might affect it. However, Hayes said that the restrictions will be more than worth it if that means a full winter sports season can be played. 

   “Yes, there will be and there have been adjustments, especially with wearing the masks on the bench, the spacing of the chairs on the sidelines, among other things,” Hayes said. “However, it is a small price to pay to be able to play basketball again.”

I’m looking forward to just being able to enjoy my senior year doing something I love with my friends.

— Senior Anaya Harris

   Along with Hayes, Swim team Head Coach Mac McCracken is delighted to have winter sports back. Most, if not all winter sports will need to adjust after a year-long absence. However, the swim team is a unique exception. The majority of swimmers on the team were still able to participate in a swim season last year, just not at school. Coach McCracken believes that this will allow for the team to be more prepared for this season without having to make numerous adjustments. 

   “Most were able to still compete through NOVA, YMCA, summer league, etc. So most were able to still get a swim season in last year, just not with Deep Run,” McCracken said. 

   Just like most coaches, the winter sports athletes are elated to have the opportunity to compete in their sports again. Senior Anaya Harris has been a member of the track team for all four years, and competes in shot put, breaking multiple school records along the way. Like her fellow athletes and coaches, Harris is looking forward to getting back to competing with her teammates.

   “I’m looking forward to just being able to enjoy my senior year doing something I love with my friends,” Harris said. 

   After being out of winter sports since the 2019 season, Harris acknowledges that she, along with her teammates, will likely struggle out of the gates.

   “I 100% know that everyone is going to struggle, even me,” Harris said. 

   With the winter sports season just getting underway, the coaches and athletes alike will look to return to their sports and start stacking wins.